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Creator / Thandiwe Newton

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Melanie Thandiwe (formerly credited as "Thandie") Newton OBE (born 6 November 1972 in Westminster, London) is a British actress of English and Zimbabwean descent.

She's best known for such movies as The Chronicles of Riddick, The Truth About Charlie, 2012, Mission: Impossible II and Rock N Rolla. She's plays as Maeve in the HBO series Westworld.

Newton married English director Ol Parker in 1998 but they separated in 2022. They have three children together, daughters Ripley and Nico along with a son, Booker Jombe, all of them delivered in home births. Since then Nico began acting herself in 2019 with the live action film of Dumbo. They appeared together later in the 2021 film Reminiscence (the pair also have a very strong family resemblance, with many fans and news media calling Nico her "Mini-Me").

Initially she modified her name's spelling (Thandiwe means "beloved" in Shona, the African language of her mother's ethnic group), but restored the original from April 2021.

Not to be confused with Zoe SaldaƱa.


Tropes related to her work:

  • Acting in the Dark: The script for the sexual assault scene in Crash just said that the hand "goes up her skirt", and she assumed the "finger fuck your wife" line from the argument scene was the character being ironic. She didn't realise exactly what it would be about until it was time to be filmed (the argument was shot first).
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: She signed on to Norbit based on an early draft where it was much darker, and she found the humour interestingly twisted.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • The Journey of August King, which she only did because John Duigan bullied her into it. She found the character "simplistic" and got shouted at for questioning it.
    • She called The Leading Man "fucking gross".
    • While she enjoyed working on Jefferson In Paris, she admits she would approach the material in a different way in light of the DNA tests that revealed how Thomas Jefferson fathered at least one child with Sally Hemmings.
    • Newton was not happy about the death of her character Val in Solo, since the shooting script left her character's loss ambiguous enough for a return and she felt it was a waste for Star Wars to kill its first theatrical Black woman lead.
  • Doing It for the Art: "What's lovely is that I'll get sent a small movie, and by virtue of me being involved they get their money, and that's fantastic."
  • Fake American: She plays more Americans than her actual nationality, and many are surprised to find out she's actually British. But she gets to keep her accent on Westworld in a prominent role, so that might change.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She's had many, many roles with her nude and/or in sex scenes, including full frontal, while also being quite attractive.
  • Stage Name / Meaningful Rename: "Thandie" is the stage name, due to a typo in the credits of her first film. As of 2021, she has reclaimed the original spelling of her name, Thandiwe.
  • Star-Making Role: Mission: Impossible II got the ball rolling, but winning a BAFTA Award for Crash got her a lot of attention.
  • Wag the Director: She refused to go topless for a scene in Rogue, feeling it didn't serve the narrative.
  • What Could Have Been: She was nearly cast in Charlie's Angels (2000) but had to turn it down when Mission: Impossible II ran over schedule, and Lucy Liu ended up with the part. However, she later revealed that she walked from the film after a talk with Amy Pascal, where the latter felt a black woman wasn't believable as a college-educated character and wanted her to play the role more stereotypical. Likewise, director McG made comments about a Male Gaze shot that made her feel uncomfortable.

Alternative Title(s): Thandie Newton